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Addiction. 1993 Jan;88(1):101-12.

Effects on mortality of alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity, and close personal relationships.

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Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems, Lausanne.


The study analyses the risks of mortality associated with alcohol consumption and smoking, as well as possible counteracting effects of physical activity and social support through close personal relationships. Data are based on the Upper Bavarian Study, a longitudinal epidemiological study of a representative community sample (n = 1668) in a rural area. Extensive semistructured psychiatric interviews by research physicians were conducted between 1975 and 1977 (n = 1536). Thirteen years after psychiatric assessment, information was obtained from the community register concerning death in the interval, data of death and cause of death according to ICD 9. This information could be ascertained for 93.1% (n = 1430) of those who had been interviewed, thus providing a good basis for generalizing the findings. Results indicate that alcohol intake and cigarette smoking increased mortality while physical activity and the availability of a steady partner had protective effects. There were no interactive effects between the four variables studied, except for a dramatically increased risk for women drinking more than 20 ml of pure alcohol a day and reporting no physical exercise at wave one assessment. The relative risks of alcohol intake and smoking, and the counteracting effects of physical activity and partnership, are exemplified in the cases of a 40-year-old female and a 40-year-old male. Specific analyses of the relationship between alcohol consumption, smoking, physical exercise and personal relationships, on the one hand, and, on the other, different causes of death, are presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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